Posts tagged: New York

Unique Group Activity Ideas for Your Adventurous Crew

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By , December 15, 2015 10:23 am

Finally, this is the time of year when many of us and our friends have a few well-deserved extra days off work and school. It can be difficult to coordinate with friends around the holidays with family obligations and office parties in the mix, but true friends are always worth the effort.

If you’re tired of meeting up at the same old bar every time you get together, why not mix things up a bit? Here are some unique group activities to suggest to your adventurous crew to break up the monotony and try something different together!

Exploratorium Thursday Evening Happy Hour

Make your brain work for those tempting cocktails as you enjoy happy hour at San Francisco’s Exploratorium. There are hundreds of interactive machines here to spark your group’s imagination, and it’s just a 15-minute walk from Fisherman’s Wharf. Stop by on Thursdays between 6 pm and 10 pm for this adults-only peek into science, art, and curiosity. Each has a different them, so it’s worth coordinating even if you’ve been here before.

Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr

Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr

Harlem Afternoon Jazz Series 

What better way to spend a day off in New York City than listening to amazing jazz music with your friends? Stop by any Tuesday at 11:30 am to get into this 90-minute show that will inspire your group’s musical side. There’s a different artist featured every week, and performances are split into two sets: one starting at noon and the next at 1:45 pm.

X Comedy Uncensored Fun at Flamingo Las Vegas

This is the sort of comedy show you might not want to bring your parents or a first date to. However, it’s perfect for a fun night out with your best friends! The X Comedy show takes place in Bugsy’s Showroom at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, which also features exciting adults-only shows like “X Rocks” and “X Burlesque.” Nancy Ryan and John Bizarre are your comedian hosts for the night’s show featuring magic tricks, celebrity impersonations, and hilarious raunchy jokes.

Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Put your wits and city savvy to the test on a scavenger hunt adventure with your best buds. The Los Angeles scavenger hunt begins on Olvera Street on a course from Union Station to the Bunker Hill area. You’ll walk, run, use the metro system, and consult your smartphones to decipher clues and compete against another team or just have fun. We offer scavenger hunts in lots of other cities too, including San Diego, Atlanta, Portland, Chicago, New York, and Dallas!

Photo credit: Gloria via Flickr

Photo credit: Gloria via Flickr

Scooter Rentals

Some parts of the country are way too cold right now to consider hopping on a scooter to see the sights, but not Miami! If you live in the area or are visiting Southern Florida for a little wintertime fun in the sun with your friends, book scooter rentals for your group to experience the city in style. Scooters are economical, eco-friendly, and save you the hassles and headaches of parking. The rental shop will teach your group the basics of scooter operation and the rest of the day of exploration is up to you!

How to Make the Most of Your Trip to New York City

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By , July 30, 2015 9:32 am

As the largest city in America, and one of the biggest in the world, planning a trip to New York City can definitely be overwhelming. There’s so much to see and do here across five boroughs and a tangled web of subway lines and traffic congestion, which is a challenge if you only have a few days to spend here.

To help you narrow down your options and get the most out of your trip to the Big Apple, here are some of our favorite New York experiences to get a taste of what city is all about. Although you may have some preconceived notions about tour groups, there are lots of quirky and fun tours offered around the city that are anything but lame.

Rock and Punk Tour NYC

New York City’s East Village has been defined by the rock, punk, and glam scene, and you can learn all about its fascinating history on a Rock and Punk Tour NYC. This is a wonderful experience for music lovers who enjoy the stories and music of groups like Led Zeppelin, The Ramones, Iggy Pop, and The Velvet Underground. Expect to spend about two hours on this tour, which starts on East 9th Street and operates all throughout the year.

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Photo credit: Todd Shaffer via Flickr

SoHo/Little Italy/Chinatown Food Tour

New York City is one of the finest places for foodies, and our SoHo/Little Italy/Chinatown Food Tour is great because you get to experience five different food places in three popular NYC neighborhoods! You’ll get to try everything from gourmet pizza to delicious cookies, Italian salami, cannoli, and dumplings. This tour runs between January and October and lasts about 2 hours.

Harlem Soul Food and Jazz Evening Tour

Another recommended tour for foodies is the Harlem Soul Food and Jazz Evening Tour, which stops by jazz clubs, bars, churches, and restaurants that form the Harlem soul scene. This is a perfect place to try local ribs, collard greens, fried fish, and black eyed peas. This is a five-hour tour that operates year around in the evenings.

Small-Group Walking Tour of New York City Architecture

But of course, New York is world-famous for its stunning architecture, and one of the best ways to learn about those towering skyscrapers is by taking a Small-Group Walking Tour of New York City Architecture. You’ll walk along 42nd street with your expert guide during this three-hour tour and gain a new appreciation for what the city is made of.

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New York Art Gallery Tour

New York is also known around the world for its amazing art galleries and art collections, but can be difficult to choose which ones to check out. Our New York Art Gallery Tour is centered on Chelsea, where hundreds of galleries are located and operate both afternoon and evening. Rafael Risemberg, who has a Ph.D. in arts education will be your guide and cover many different forms of art created locally, nationally, and internationally.

Central Park Movie Tour

No trip to New York City is complete without spending some time in Central Park. This iconic park has been the setting for many books, movies, and television shows, and our Central Park Movie Tour focuses on many of your favorite flicks. This tour lasts about two hours and allows you to relive and recreate your favorite scenes from old and new movies, such as Serendipity, Vanilla Sky, and When Harry Met Sally.

Best Places to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 2015

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By , March 11, 2015 10:23 am

For some people, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish heritage, and for others it’s a religious holiday or simply a reason to party. But regardless of what the day means to you, there are lots of amazing ways to celebrate in cities across America.

So if you’re tired of the same old Irish pub routine in your hometown year after year, why not take a trip to see how other cities “go green” with parades, shamrocks, and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? At FunSherpa, we can hook you up with unique adventures in these cities and many others that love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

Savannah, Georgia

Would you believe that Savannah, Georgia hosts the third largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the world? Savannah’s celebration involves much more than just green beer and pub crawls. For four days, March 14-17, you can watch and listen to Irish musicians, storytellers, and children’s performers. The city dyes the water in some fountains green and there’s a parade on the 17th.

Photo credit: Sébastien Barré via Flickr

Photo credit: Sébastien Barré via Flickr

New York City, New York

Not surprisingly, New York City hosts a huge St. Patrick’s Day celebration that’s worth checking out. The New York City parade begins on 44th Street at 11 am and marches up 5th Avenue up to 79th Street. This is one of the longest parades you can participate in, since it only finishes up around 5 pm. Some of the best Irish pubs to sip a pint in after the parade include The Dead Rabbit in the Financial District, Donovan’s Pub in Woodside, and McSorley’s Old Ale House in the East Village.

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio hosts the Harp & Shamrock Society of Texas Annual South Texas Alamo Festival, which is where you can watch the Texas League Gaelic Football Tournament. This is a great way to kick off a traditional and authentic St. Patrick’s Day. Then you can head over to the River Walk to watch the Murphy’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and see the green river.

Washington, DC

Washington, DC’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration is centered on a huge parade that takes place on the 15th and has over 100 marching bands and military groups. If you can stay around town for a few extra days, you can attend the Shamrock Fest, which is a music festival that features traditional Celtic and alternative rock artists.

Photo credit: LenDog64 via Flickr

Photo credit: LenDog64 via Flickr

Las Vegas, Nevada

There’s always a reason to celebrate something in Vegas, and Sin City has plenty of parties and events to keep you entertained. The parade steps off at the Henderson Events Plaza at 200 Water Street at 10 am and features around 100 groups and floats marching from Ocean Avenue down Water Street. Many casinos, such as New York-New York and Mandalay Bay, host themed events and there’s even a Men in Kilts Contest involving local and national firefighters for charity.

Chicago, Illinois

With a strong and proud Irish culture, Chicago remains one of the greatest places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the world. The city dumps 45 pounds of vegetable dye into the Chicago River to turn it green and the local parade marches up Columbus drive with floats, flags, and bagpipes. The best place to see the parade is in Grant Park around Columbus and Balbo, although you’ll need to arrive early to snag a spot along the route. Some great Irish pubs in Chicago are Emmit’s Irish Pub, Lady Gregory’s, Shinnick’s Pub, and Cork & Kerry.

Winter Festivals To Check Out Across America

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By , December 18, 2014 11:18 am

Most of us think of summertime as festival season in America, but lots of cities host amazing events throughout the winter months and all year long. The upcoming holiday season will be over before we know it, so why not start planning something else exciting to look forward to in the new year?

Instead of letting the winter blues drag you down, embrace the spirit of the season and experience a new festival to kick off 2015. These are some of the best winter festivals to check out across America.

Winter Festivals in Austin, Texas

All throughout the year, Austin maintains its reputation as one of the most amazing festival cities in America. There’s still time to catch the Trail of Lights, a December festival, which invites locals and visitors to take a 1.25-mile walk to see holiday lights while sampling local cuisine and listening to music. February is also a great time to visit Austin to check out the winter festival scene. Carnaval Brasileiro is one of the biggest one-night carnival celebrations outside of Brazil, and the Rancho Alegre Conjunto Festival is a family-friendly event that features down-home Texas-style music. Another February festival is Jugglefest, which celebrates all things circus in an indoor space. To learn about more exciting festivals in Austin, check out Homecity’s The Definitive Austin Festival Guide.”

Photo credit: Teresa Boardman via Flickr

Photo credit: Teresa Boardman via Flickr

Winter Festivals in St. Paul, Minnesota

Who in his right mind would travel to Minnesota in the winter? Hardcore festival lovers…that’s who! The St. Paul Winter Carnival runs from late January to early February and attracts around 350,000 visitors each year. This the largest and most established cold weather festivals in America, with dog sled racing, ice sculpture carving, floats, and even a scavenger hunt.

Winter Festivals in Saranac Lake, New York

Nestled in the Adirondack Mountains in New York, the Saranac Lake Winter Festival is less than an hour from the Canadian border. The lake provides a beautiful backdrop for a variety of winter sport contests, including alpine skiing, curling, broomball, snowshoeing, and even snow volleyball. This festival has a new theme every year and features a festive parade and fireworks for the whole family.

Winter Festivals in Breckenridge, Colorado

Head west to experience the International Snow Sculpture Championships, which takes place in mid-to-late January each year. Breckenridge is best known for its top-notch ski and snowboard resort, but there is lots to see and do in the quaint downtown area as well. Ice sculptors travel here from all over the world to show off their skills, inviting locals and visitors stroll through the park to marvel at their masterpieces. Ullr Fest, a Viking-inspired week of competition, takes place in Breckenridge from January 11-17 this year as well.

Photo credit: Alyssa L. Ochs

Photo credit: Alyssa L. Ochs

Winter Festivals in Anchorage, Alaska

Winter celebrations are a way of life in the northern wilderness of Alaska, and one of the best times to visit is in late February and early March. Fur Rendezvous is an exciting dog sledding event in Anchorage that also lets visitors play snowshoe softball and view snow sculptures. Stay a little bit longer to experience the epic Iditarod dog sledding race.

For more inspirational ideas to get out and active this winter, browse through FunSherpa’s experiences by city or theme!

NYC: Smooth Groovin and Chillin’ with Conchita Campos

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By , July 15, 2009 8:00 am

Conchita concentrating before a performance

Conchita concentrating before a performance

A funsherpa first! Interrogating the interesting is now in New York City!  Our first NYC feature is with singer/songwriter Conchita Campos. Having recently moved back to the Big Apple after a year of self discovery in San Francisco, Conchita brings back her unique sound and music talent back to the city.  If you’re interested in checking her music out, you can find her EP here and on iTunes

F: So what’s up with Conchita these days?

C: I am currently working hard on my first full-length album – it is quite exciting because it is about 75% done!

F: You seem quite talented in many things, what made you decide to create music?

C: I come from a musical family. My dad played the piano and my brother picked up the guitar in high school, so that’s how I got into playing music. When I got to college, I eventually decided to take it up as my major and have been playing ever since.

F: Who are your major influences on your sound/style ?

C: I grew up around a lot of jazz and Latin jazz and my dad collected a lot of records, so there’s a big jazz influence in there. As I got older, I started to listening to other styles, like soul, hip hop, indie rock, electronic – I think there’s a little bit of all of that in there.

F: Has NY influenced your music much?

C: Definitely!  I think the dark, grittiness that comes out in my music is a NY thing. I noticed the songs I’ve written in California are significantly more upbeat, at least in melody.

F: I’ve thought of becoming a singer…any advice to the aspiring singer/songwriter?

C: Like most things, there will always be ups and downs and you’ll always have doubts. As long as you remain sincere and passionate, you’ll be able to push through it. Keep creating and dreaming.

F: So you mentioned that you have an upcoming album…can you spill the beans on it?

C: It’s a big departure from the purely organic, acoustic sound of the EP.  It’s heavy on the jazz and soul, with some elements of my roots in acoustic music. I worked with really amazing people (The Park, Rachel Lastimosa from Dirty Boots, Nino Moschella) to create the sound I envisioned for the album.  Hopefully, people see the fruits of our labor in this collaborative endeavor.

F: Aside from the finance world, NYC has an awesome arts scene.  How do you feel about the current music scene in NYC?

C: The NYC music scene is diverse and always evolving, just like the city itself. My biggest gripe with it is that it’s so extremely competitive, so there isn’t as much of a sense of community in the music scene, unlike that in San Francisco. On the other hand, it’s good in the sense that it forces you to stay motivated and driven and passionate.

F: Why did you decide to move back to NYC after moving back to San Francisco for a year ?

C: I went to San Francisco to record the album. It made absolute sense to do it in there because I could work with people I admire and respect, who would be able to achieve my vision for the album. I was surrounded by amazing musicians who were also my friends. It made everything easier and more enjoyable. Now that the album is pretty much done, I felt like it was time for me to go home. One of my favorite artists, Alana Davis, said that as an artist, you must be where you feel most inspired. Being in the Bay Area for a year made me realize that NY is now home. It’s where I’ve been inspired to write and constantly evolve and create.

F: Where do you go in the city when you need inspiration for writing your music?

C: I watch a lot of shows, whenever and wherever I can.

F: Can you tell us where Conchita hangs out in the city to listen to live music?

C: The summer is awesome because you have all these great free concerts. I love jazz shows, so there’s Smoke and Sweet Rhythm.

F: Favorite place in the city to perform?

I have a soft spot for The Bitter End, since it’s where I played my first NY gig.

F: We love summer – any suggestions for things to do in the city during this time of the year?

Summerstage, the music festivals, food festivals – so much to do really!

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